“The German exhibition industry – exhibiting companies, organisers and the exhibition service providers – had expected the Prime Ministers’ Conference on 22 March 2021 to provide a perspective for its relaunch,” explains Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – Association of the German Trade Fair Industry. “Once again, however, the opportunity has been missed to send a signal not only to the organisers but also to the exhibiting companies, which depend on their industry platforms, especially in economically difficult times.” For more than a year, the exhibition industry has been in lockdown – with a brief interruption in autumn 2020. The cancellations of fairs meanwhile extend to the end of May.
Politicians must decide with a longer time horizon
According to Holtmeier, “The federal and state governments cannot always make decisions with a time horizon of three to four weeks. They also have an obligation to find solutions for sectors that have long lead times for their services.” The exhibition industry in particular, with its high overall economic importance for Germany as an export nation, needs planning security.
“We need a plan from the politicians for the re-start that takes into account the positive effects of the vaccination and testing strategy that are already foreseeable today.” Because organisers and companies are already making decisions that affect the 2nd half of 2021. More than 80 exhibitions are planned for the third quarter of 2021 alone. According to Holtmeier, their realisation must not be jeopardized by a lack of political decisions.
The industry itself has made important contributions with its recently presented package of eight health protection components.